Students Let Down Over Walk Out

On March 14, 2018, at 10 am, Chicago Public Schools did different things to show support for the Florida victims. For example, at Walter Payton, students and the administration came together to figure out what would best support the student’s First Amendment ; Walter Payton students decided to lock arms together lining the block. Jones College Prep held a rally outside where students shared and honored the victims of gun violence. Unlike Payton and Jones, Phoenix Military cadets remained at school struggling whether to exercise their First Amendment and support a cause they care about or suffer the consequences.

Phoenix Military staff failed cadets as leaders and support systems by sending mixed messages. Some staff members threatened with arresting the students for leaving the school while other staff members supported the students leaving for 17 minutes and returning. It was not until the morning of the walkout when the staff announced that students would not be punished for participating. Nevertheless, the staff was concerned about students protesting in their uniforms forgetting that students are truly concerned about a school shooting happening here, not to mention the gun violence in Chicago. This lead to several students not participating because they did not bring a change of clothes to participate since previously  they were told they would face punishment.

 Understandably, the teachers were concerned about the students’ ditching school and their safety outside, however, the teachers and administration forgot to include students in any discussion or decision making regarding the walk out. The school and the students should have worked together to plan something, but instead, confusion and misinformation lead to students feeling frustrated and unsupported.

Phoenix’s cadets had so many ideas about how to show their support during the 17 minutes. Some ideas were a military ceremony of mourning for the JROTC cadet that died in the shooting. As a military school, Phoenix could have had a military spin on the walk out inside the school instead of students leaving and never returning.